Michigan seniors compete in the cycling event at Waterford Hills Road Racing during last year’s games.

Michigan seniors compete in the cycling event at Waterford Hills Road Racing during last year’s games.

Photo by Bruce Beck Photography


MSO Summer Games help seniors stay active

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published July 10, 2018

 Kurt Olzmann, from Rochester, competes in the swimming event at Oakland University during last year’s Michigan Senior Olympics Summer Games.

Kurt Olzmann, from Rochester, competes in the swimming event at Oakland University during last year’s Michigan Senior Olympics Summer Games.

Photo provided by the Michigan Senior Olympics

ROCHESTER — Staying active as you grow older isn’t always easy, but there are advantages for those who can.

Glenn Clark, the owner of Stardust Ballroom, in Keego Harbor, said dancing is a great way for seniors to keep their bodies — and minds — healthy and strong.

“As you get older, movement is critical,” he said. “You start losing your balance. You start losing your ability to function. You get arthritis and you get stiff, so I highly encourage activity for seniors.”

Dancing, according to Clark, is a wonderful cardiovascular exercise for seniors that also helps build a strong memory.

“It’s a great for seniors because they have to not only remember patterns for the ones that compete, but they have to execute, so it keeps the brain nicely stimulated,” he said.

Clark is the chair of judges for the Michigan Senior Olympics’ dancesport competition — which will be held Aug. 5 at the Royal Park Hotel — and he said the number of seniors who sign up to compete each year has continued to grow, showing that local seniors recognize the importance of staying active.

But if dancing isn’t your thing, MSO Executive Director Becky Ridky said this year’s MSO Summer Games has plenty of events to choose from.

“As you age, experts say that to remain moving is the best thing you can do for yourself,” she said. “And the MSO is a great way to keep seniors active and healthy.”

The 2018 MSO Summer Games will be held Aug. 10-19 at various locations throughout Oakland and Macomb counties. Events include archery, badminton, basketball, billiards, bocce ball, bowling, cycling, dancesport, disc golf, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, powerlifting, a 5K, a 10K, a racewalk, racquetball, shuffleboard, a skills challenge, softball, swimming, open water swim, table tennis, tennis, track and field, triathlon, volleyball, and a new option — power walk.

Ridky expects around 1,500 participants ages 50 and older to compete in the Summer Games this year, which happens to be a year they can also qualify to attend the National Senior Olympics in New Mexico. Seniors participating in the Summer Games have to register by July 20.

To kick off the games, the Michigan Senior Olympics invites the public to an opening ceremony 6-8 p.m. Aug. 10 in Rochester’s Bloomer Park. The free event will include a lighting of the torch, free food and entertainment for the entire family — including music, face painting, kids’ games, vendor tables, giveaways and more.

The Michigan Senior Olympics is a nonprofit organization that Ridky said aims to enhance the quality of life for those over 50 by providing and developing programs in physical fitness and nutrition, while enhancing mental strength and sports skills.

For more information, to volunteer or to become a sponsor for the upcoming games, visit www.michiganseniorolympics.org or call (248) 608-0252.